WHO: Little evidence shows pets can infect humans with COVID-19


There is "very little risk" that pets can infect their owners with COVID-19, said an expert from the World Health Organization (WHO) at a Geneva press conference on Thursday.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist, said that felines, ferrets and even tigers have been infected with the disease by humans, but "very little evidence of the reverse."

"There is very little risk from domestic animals because there was some concern about domestic animals becoming a source of infection," she said.

Read more: Answer Bank: Can I get COVID-19 from my pets?

However, there were also cases of minks on farms that got the infection and were even perhaps able to transmit the virus to a human, she added.

Swaminathan pointed out that it is not yet clear how the virus can spread across the species barrier between animals and humans, which is a very active area of research that will help prevent future pandemics.

(With input from Reuters)